All eyes on MassHealth formulary? Publicly insured could get a menu of covered drugs. Not uncommon with Medicare, private insurance

At the very end of this story on a session at a health writers conference, a speaker is noted as saying “Everyone is also watching Massachusetts’s attempt to close its Medicaid formulary, a move meant to control prescription drug costs. If the Trump administration approves that waiver, it would have a huge ripple effect across the country.”

The panel was on states and health care in the age of Trump

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From a recent NYTimes Robert Pear story:

The proposal has nationwide implications because many states are struggling with the costs of health care, including prescription drugs. Massachusetts officials say the decision on their request for a Medicaid waiver, which could set a national precedent if it is approved, will show just how serious President Trump is about his vow to bring down drug prices.

More here from the Globe on the changes to Medicaid that are already underway. From 3/1 :

More than 800,000 Massachusetts Medicaid recipients enter a new era Thursday with the rollout of sweeping changes that are designed to improve care and save money — but that could cause initial confusion and disruption.

State officials are trying to more tightly control where patients on the Medicaid program, called MassHealth, receive their care. They have assigned patients to one of several different accountable care organizations — or networks of doctors and hospitals that will work to manage patients’ care.

 

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